A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them

Macmillan Audio. Feb. 2022. 7:15 hrs. ISBN 9781250821690. $19.99. MED
Throughout history, poison has been used as an interesting murder weapon because it is sometimes difficult to detect. In this first book from Bradbury (physiology and biophysics, Rosalind Franklin Univ.), listeners learn that poison is still a weapon of choice for certain factions—nurses, doctors, spies, unhappy spouses. Each chapter focuses on one of 11 well-known chemicals that can be used to kill. Bradbury provides the history of each substance, its discovery and uses, and even where it shows up in popular culture. Each substance also gets its own scientific review (how it poisons; treatment and prognoses for poisoning victims). Then come the crimes. Many of the cases that Bradbury describes are contemporary and are followed from the discovery of the poison to the conviction of those who utilized it. Narrator Derek Perkins’s voice is perfect for this work. He recounts the crimes with low drama and makes the science stand out. His performance elevates the text, which makes it hard for a listener to determine when to take a break.
VERDICT Recommended for those curious about how things work and fans of true crime, history, and science.
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